EPOD 20th - Anatahan Eruption of May 11

September 06, 2020

Anatahan Eruption of May 11

We’re celebrating 20 years of Earth Science Picture of the Day during the month of September! Today’s photo features a popular EPOD from the past. Thanks to all of our followers (on the blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for supporting us. Thanks also to all of you who’ve submitted your photos. We’re most appreciative. This EPOD was originally published June 11, 2003.

Provided by: Allan Sauter, Scripps Oceanography
Summary author: Allan Sauter

The above photo was taken on the morning of May 11, 2003, and shows the initial eruption of Mt. Anatahan (2,585 ft or 788 m above sea level) in the Mariana Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. A team of scientists from Washington University (St. Louis) and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography installed a broadband seismic station on this island (Anatahan) 5 days before the powerful eruption. We were sailing to Saipan (south of Anatahan) when Mt. Anatahan erupted for the first time in human memory. Fortunately, the few remaining islanders left Anatahan in February -- their village was directly downwind of this plume.

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